By Monsurudeen Olowoopejo
President Muhammadu Buhari has disclosed that the uprightness his late Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari, stood for made several public officeholders and politicians dislike him and called the deceased several names to qualify his actions at the Presidency.
Buhari further disclosed that his late aide never allowed their comments and claims to distract him instead considered an improvement in the country’s governance as major satisfaction and reward for any public officeholder in Nigeria.
After resuming as the Chief of Staff to the Presidents, Buhari hinted that the deceased worked without taking a day off and acted forcefully as a crucial gatekeeper to the presidency, ensuring that none of the minister or governor had access to the President beyond the other.
He said: “Abba never sought elective office for himself. Rather, he set himself against the view and conduct of two generations of Nigeria’s political establishment, those who saw corruption as an entitlement and its practice a byproduct of possessing political office”.
Due to this belief, Buhari, in a condolence letter to the Kyari family on Saturday after his burial rites at Gudu Cemetery in Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja, revealed that many disliked him and claimed that he was secretive which was the reason he did not have a high public profile.
“But Abba was the opposite: he simply had no need, nor did he seek, the cheap gratification of the crowd; for him, there was nothing to be found in popular adulation. He secured, instead, satisfaction and his reward solely and only from the improvement of the governance of this great country”, the President added.
Understanding these qualities, Buhari stated that he decided to appoint Kyari, who had been his friend for over 42 years, as his Chief of Staff and since then, he strove quietly and without any interest in publicity or personal gain to implement his agenda.
He noted that since their path crossed, his ideology to ensure the country works for all irrespective of their status or class never changed until complications from coronavirus which he contracted led to his death.
“A diligent student, soon after he was blessed with the opportunity to study abroad – first at Warwick and then law at the University of Cambridge.
“But there was never any question Abba would bring his first-rate skills and newly acquired world-class knowledge back to Nigeria – which he did – immediately upon graduation.
“Whilst possessing the sharpest legal and organisational mind, Abba’s true focus was always the development of infrastructure and the assurance of security for the people of this nation he served so faithfully.
“For he knew that without both in tandem there can never be the development of the respectful society and vibrant economy that all Nigerian citizens deserve,” Buhari added.